Apple's iPod Hi-Fi was released 18 years ago and only lasted 554 days

Tim Hardwick

Reflecting on the iPod Hi-Fi, released 18 years ago, many longtime readers may remember it as Apple's ambitious foray into the home audio market, long before smart speakers came along.

At $349, it promised audiophile-quality sound in a compact design, offering a home option sound without the clutter of traditional stereo components. It had a built-in universal iPod dock, providing seamless integration allowing users to charge their devices while playing music.

With the ability to reproduce a wide frequency range and fill a room with sound without distortion, iPod Hi-Fi combines Jony Ive's minimalist design aesthetic with high-quality sound. Its versatility was further emphasized by the inclusion of an Apple Remote and the ability to be powered by mains or battery, making it portable.

Many iPod products have achieved outstanding success, but the iPod Hi-Fi was not one of them. The device was praised for its powerful, rich sound, bass, and ease of use, but its high price turned off many Apple device users. Additionally, the jack, located prominently above the speaker, exposed connected iPods to potential shock and damage.

Despite its innovative features, the iPod Hi-Fi remained a niche product in Apple's lineup, and the iPod dock and speaker combination never took off. Apple discontinued it on September 5, 2007, just 554 days after its launch.


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